The CJN newspaper is no more

The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Sad news from the world of Canadian Jewish media today: The Canadian Jewish News is finished. In approximately two months, the newspaper will be cease to exist and will only be available online.

Here is the announcement posted on the website:

The Canadian Jewish News will cease publishing in two months.

The board of directors arrived at the decision on Friday, April 19, having regard to the fact that there were still assets on hand with which to provide meaningful severance to the newspaper’s employees and to wind up operations properly.

Donald Carr, president of The CJN, announced the decision to close the newspaper “with great sadness.”

The current incarnation of The CJN was founded some 42 years ago. It was the initiative of the late Ray Wolfe, businessman and philanthropist. Wolfe brought together a consortium of individuals who bought the newspaper from Meyer Nurenberger and converted it into an award-winning, nationally oriented, weekly newspaper whose mission was “to serve the Jewish People, in Canada, in Israel and in all its habitations.”

With its head office in Toronto, the newspaper published weekly editions in Toronto and Montreal.

The CJN fell victim to the tsunami-like changes that are currently sweeping across the print newspaper industry.

More information will become available to subscribers in the days ahead.

The last edition of The CJN will be June 20, 2013.

The CJN also posted a message from president Donald Carr lamenting the sad reality of print journalism and how it doesn’t make sense anymore to continue publication.

It’s common knowledge of this decline. This former journalism student has been hearing this song and dance ever since first year (2006). It will be a massive adjustment to go exclusively online.

And as the admin of this blog and a freelance web producer by trade, I’ve personally seen and dealt with the multitude of differences between the two formats.

I’m no expert but here’s a small list of things I’ve observed.

According to its website, the CJN has audited circulation 39,000. As of writing this, the CJN has 1,316 Facebook followers and 4,252 on Twitter.

On the Facebook page, I’ve noticed a post almost every other day. I understand that being a weekly paper you only have so much content, but if you’re going to emphasize a broader online audience, activity is key. Meanwhile on Twitter, I’ve noticed the bulk of the tweets bunched together over a few days. I’ve seen seven on a day, two the four days prior and two the day before that. The thing about being online is that you can’t work on a weekly basis. It’s got to be content pushed out everyday. I don’t want to log in Wednesday and see the exact same news on the homepage on Wednesday.

The website however does seem fairly consistent in posting articles on a regular basis. In most cases, stories of certain categories will be fewer in numbers over time (i.e. food, sports etc.), but for those with more stories in general (Canada, international etc.), the stories by numbers and by level of importance are there.

(Note: Yes… this website is guilty of failing to adhere to most of what I’ve just written.)

As for the website, it’s fairly easy to navigate. Back in the day, it was just brutal. It was so hard to find certain stories, and the layout was an eyesore. My favourite was trying to download and view a PDF version of the paper (gahh!!). But now it looks professional. The ticker on the top, the flash slideshow of the top stories, a video section and the presence of options to subscribe and join its social media forums. The webmasters have done well.

I know this was the same at the Jewish Tribune. The website was awful. Having interned there, it was hard to find my articles to show to people. But now, the website is beautiful.

Speaking of the Jewish Tribune, you now have wonder about their future as well of that of others. Imagine those blue newspaper boxes gone from the streets, or the disappearance of the abundance of Shalom Toronto newspapers that clutter restaurants.

We at Frum From Bathurst wish the best for the CJN. It provides the Canadian Jewish community a great service and with G-d’s help they should continue to do so successfully for years to come.

And the same goes for the rest of other Canadian Jewish media outlets.

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Posted on April 22, 2013, in journalism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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